A St. Francois County Jail inmate awaiting trial for murder is facing new charges this week after two other inmates reported being sexually assaulted at the jail facility.
Jasson Joseph McCormick, 37, of Farmington, has been charged in St. Francois County with two counts of second-degree sodomy.
According to a probable cause statement from the St. Francois County Sheriff's Department, earlier this year in February, reports of sexual assault were made involving inmates at the St. Francois County Detention Center.
The report states that one of the alleged victims, a jail inmate, had been taken to the emergency room at Parkland Health Center in Farmington for treatment in accordance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
During a recorded interview with investigators, the alleged victim reportedly identified McCormick as the person that had committed the assault. The man said McCormick told him he would stab him if the man did not have sexual intercourse with McCormick. The inmate told police he feared bodily injury from McCormick if he did not comply.
People are also reading…
The report states another inmate at the jail spoke to investigators alleging that McCormick had sexually assaulted him as well.
In a recorded interview, the second alleged victim reportedly told authorities that he woke up to McCormick having anal sex with him without his consent. The sexual assault allegedly occurred while all three individuals were incarcerated in St. Francois County, according to authorities.
After the new case was filed this week, McCormick's bond was set at $50,000. The man has been incarcerated at the county jail since Dec. 30, 2019, when he was charged with murder. His bond in the murder case is set at $1 million cash-only.
The first-degree murder case against McCormick was filed after the body of a Park Hills woman was found in her apartment on Dec. 26, 2019. McCormick, along with 23-year-old Dylan Murray, of Valles Mines, was charged in St. Francois County with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, felony stealing, and stealing a motor vehicle.
According to a probable cause statement from the case, on Dec. 26, 2019, at 4:58 p.m., officers with the Park Hills Police Department were dispatched to an apartment on Seventh Street to check the well-being of a female since identified as 38-year-old Jessica Cerchi.
The woman's family members had not heard from her in an inordinate amount of time and notified local authorities.
When officers arrived on the scene, they reportedly detected an odor that they believed to be from the decomposition of a body. Upon entering the apartment, officers located an apparent crime scene and the deceased woman's body.
Officers obtained a search warrant, and the crime scene was processed. According to police, while processing the crime scene, it became apparent that a homicide had taken place.
It was reported that an autopsy was performed on Dec. 27, 2019, which revealed the victim suffered from more than 20 puncture wounds and had evidence of apparent ligature strangulation.
Further information was developed that the victim's vehicle, a 1998 Ford Expedition, was missing. Through further investigation, it was determined that the SUV was involved in a traffic accident in Jefferson County on Dec. 11, 2019, at approximately 8:55 a.m., where two men were occupying the vehicle. The men were identified as McCormick and Murray.
On Dec. 26, 2019, McCormick was interviewed at the St. Francois County Sheriff's Department. During the interview, he reportedly admitted being at the scene at the time of the incident and advised that Murray assaulted and stabbed the victim on Dec. 9, 2019, between 3 and 6:30 a.m. During Murray's interview, he indicated that McCormick attacked and stabbed the woman.
Following the homicide, McCormick and Murray reportedly took the alleged victim's vehicle and traveled out of state to a casino using a credit device and EBT card belonging to the victim. They returned to Missouri, where they wrecked the vehicle in Jefferson County.
The 2019 cases against Murray and McCormick are still pending, and both men have pleaded not guilty. In McCormick's case, a four-day jury trial is scheduled to begin on March 6. McCormick has a case review scheduled on Feb. 17, where he can either change his plea or proceed with the trial. Murray is due in court next for a trial setting on Jan. 20.
A preliminary hearing in the newly filed sodomy case against McCormick is set for Oct. 18.
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org